XenApp 6.5 offers a variety of benefits and features that companies will need as technology evolves and user needs expand.
Citrix introduced a variety of enhancements to its installation wizard, starting with XenApp 6 and continuing on to XenApp 6.5. Let’s take a look at a typical Citrix Farm architecture before we get into the roles wizard. These roles are common for small Citrix farms:
1. Web Interface Server 2. License Server 3. XenApp Server
The Farm Data Store is an integral part of the Farm but it is not technically a “role.” It is a SQL database server that stores critical Farm Data. During the configuration wizard of XenApp, an administrator designs the location of the Data Store. A server can be designated as a controller during installation. It will not attempt to become a ZDC if it is designated as a worker.
Larger Citrix-XenApp farms are more complex. They include components such as Provisioning Services, EdgeSight monitoring and Remote Access Devices.
Another benefit of the installation process is that no configuration is required during installation. This makes it very easy to install each role. After the installation is complete, the administrator will be prompted to configure each role.
Single Management Console
Citrix administrators have faced many challenges over the years. They need to use different consoles for various Citrix management tasks. Citrix has consolidated nearly all administrative tasks into one console, the Delivery Services Console. Citrix has changed the name of this console to AppCenter in XenApp 6.5.
Administrators can use the AppCenter Console to publish applications, create policies, manage worker groups and zones, and other tasks. You can now manage hundreds servers and applications in a Citrix server farm from one console.
Worker groups allow you to manage all servers in an App Silo as a single object. This allows you publish applications and to set policies with a Worker Group, rather than individual servers. This makes managing complex Citrix environments much easier.
Worker groups also have the advantage of being able to load balance between geographical locations and direct users to the XenApp servers nearest to their current location.
Policies and GPO Integration
Citrix Administrators now have the ability to use GPOs or Organizational Units to manage Citrix Policies. Administrators can also use Microsoft Policies to manage their policies. Administrators now have one tool for managing user rights. Citrix allows for IMA-Based Polices even if you don’t have Active Directory rights. These policies can be stored in the Citrix Data Store. These policies can be created using the Delivery Service Console. However, they will be superseded if GPO Based Citrix Policy exist.
New in XenApp 6.5: The ability to filter policies using the XenApp Policies Editor. You can view XenApp 6.0 policies only or vice versa.
Merchandizing Server and Windows Receiver
Merchandising Server allows administrators centrally deploy and update Citrix client systems. Merchandising server is a virtual appliance which can be downloaded and imported within XenServer.
HDX is a term that many of you may have heard. HDX stands for High Definition Experience. It’s a combination of more than 60 technologies that allows users to have the best possible experience when connecting to applications or hosted desktops.
Provisioning Server allows Citrix administrators create a single master virtual drive (vDisk), and then connect multiple p devices.